Earthquake causes South Korea to postpone critical college entrance exam

South korea school studentsChung Sung-Jun/Getty ImagesStudents in South Korea.
  • A 5.4 magnitude earthquake rocked South Korea, damaging school buildings.
  • As a result, South Korea’s schools postponed the college entrance exams, which are highly competitive and essentially shut down the entire nation.

After a magnitude 5.4 earthquake near Pohang, South Korea, shook the nation and damaged some school buildings, the country decided to postpone its critical college entrance exams by one week, according to Yonhap News.

The quake, which injured 14, came the day before the nation-wide tests that all South Korean high schoolers undergo before being placed in a college.

The exams are a huge deal in South Korea, where the entire country essentially shuts down as teenagers sit for the eight-hour test.

The exams function as the primary factor in getting a student placed in a college, so enterprising families wishing their children to attend the best schools and place enormous importance on the test. In the US, a combination of GPA, SAT or ACT scores, and recommendations dilute the importance of any single test.

On the day of the tests, businesses close to reduce traffic, air traffic halts to provide quiet for listening portions of the exam, and local police will taxi students running late to the test, according to The Atlantic.

The earthquake took place miles off the coast of South Korea, indicating that it had nothing to do with North Korean nuclear testing which registers as a seismic event. Experts predict aftershocks from the powerful quake could continue to do damage across the country.

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